When I was in 5th grade my dad gave me the Lloyd Alexander Prydain Series. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it's the story of Taran (Pig keeper) and his adventures. It was my first real introduction into the fantasy genre... and I was hooked.
This was when I learned what it like to become "immersed in a story"-where I couldn't concentrate on anything until I got home to turn the next page. This launched a lifetime of an obsession with stories set in other worlds... or tales that are just slightly beyond what we know as reality.
Terry Goodkind, author of the "Sword of Truth" series, once said ""First of all, I don't write fantasy. I write stories that have important human themes. They have elements of romance, history, adventure, mystery and philosophy. Most fantasy is one-dimensional. It's either about magic or a world-building. I don't do either."
I've gotten to meet Mr. Goodkind and Robin Hobb-also known as Megan Lindholm and who happens to be one of my favorite authors. I even had lunch with her at a Denny's in San Diego! That was a heavy dose of reality that I was pleased to experience, though every now and then I had to ask myself if I was dreaming. Good fantasy authors are-to me-just like rock stars. They have shaped the stories and the music I make today.
All this got me thinking about why I love fantasy so much. First of all. I LIVE in this world. I see the hard reality of it. More often than not I want to escape to another place. It's not to say that I don't love amazing real life stories. That's something special in and of itself. But there's nothing better than allowing yourself to be transported, whether it's to Hogwarts, Westeros or Neverland. The older we get, the harder it is to remember the wonder of childhood.
I don't really ever want to fully grow up. I promised myself this when I was in grade school. Some days I feel like I've broken this promise. But when I write and work on "Evernight: the Musical", I think I'm keeping that oath.